"Telepresence refers to the application of complex video technologies to give geographically separated participants a sense of being together in the same location. These systems use high-definition cameras feeding to life-size HD displays with high-fidelity acoustics that, in many cases, localize sound to image, simulating the effect of each voice coming from the video display for each participant. The technologies are integrated into a high-bandwidth system to support real-time, seamless presentation in a dedicated telepresence space. In sophisticated telepresence rooms, the furniture and displays are arranged in ways that further enhance the simulation." (Educause)
Simultaneous Learning in Multiple Locations
Participation in the Florida Language Consortium requires a telepresence system with dedicated server hardware and software, bandwidth to support the HD throughout, and equipment that can deliver high-quality audio and HD video. High-fidelity sound transmits tone of voice, and participants can readily discern body language and facial expressions. The technology used by partnering institutions must be agreed upon and compatible before a partnership is established.
Technology plays a supporting role to the pedagogical collaborations of the consortium. It is not necessarily relegated to the background, but it is not on center stage. Technological tools change quickly and the consortium is not about the tools. Furthermore, given the rapid price decrease of previously leading-edge technologies, these technological tools are increasingly affordable representing a previously unrealized opportunity for collaboration.